Here are the answers to Bob Ecker’s annual travel quiz (Q&A c. Bob Ecker 2016)

#1: What is the estimated amount of dollars collected by airlines, worldwide for ancillary fees in 2016?  These ancillary fees don’t include ticket prices but are charged for things such as: food & beverage, alcohol, baggage, entertainment, preferred seating, upgrades, legroom, breathing, etc.

A) $ 979.8 million

B) $ 560.5 million

C) $   67.4 billion

D) $   18.7 billion

E) $   36.1 billion

Answer #1: C. According to the Amadeus Worldwide Estimate of Ancillary Revenue, worldwide airlines racked up an astounding $ 67.4 billion in ancillary fees this year.   Remember that the next time you order a drink on an airplane.

#2:  What cruise vessel, at 154 feet from side to side, is the world’s widest?

A) Carnival’s Oasis of the Seas

B) Cunard Queen Mary

C) Oceania Riviera

D) Norwegian Breakaway

E) Holland America’s Noordadam

Answer #2: A.  Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Sea checks in with a beam width of 154 feet.   That ship is very wide, very long and exceedingly stable.

#3: Places on earth along the equator are generally hot. Yet this city, very near the equator has an average temperature of 57 degrees F.  Pretty cool considering. What is the name of this city?

Answer #3: Despite having latitude of 0°15’S, Quito, Ecuador sits at 9,350 feet above sea level, providing it with a stable and mild climate

#4: Which is the oldest state capital city in the Unites States?

A) Boston, MA

B) Annapolis, MD

C) Tallahassee, FL

D) Austin, TX

E) Santa Fe, NM

Answer #4: E.  Santa Fe New Mexico was originally a small Pueblo Indian settlement going back to the 11th Century.  It was settled large scale by Spanish conquistadores in 1609.  At over 7,198 feet above sea level, Santa Fe is also the highest capital in the United States.

#5:  At over 9,000 years old, where was the oldest piece of chewing gum found?

A) On an island off the coast of Sweden

B) Under a student desk in Wurzburg, Germany

C) In Australia’s remote Tanami Desert

D) Excavated from a construction site in Jaffa, Israel

E) In the stomach of a mummified polar bear, near Churchill, Manitoba, Canada

Answer #5: A. On an island off the coast of Sweden.  Chewing tree resins and other types of plants has been a part of human history for a long, long time.

#6:  The city of Cannes, along the beautiful French Riviera is known for its world famous film festival. In its first year, how many films were shown at Cannes?

 Answer #6: One.  Cannes’ first festival was to take place from September 1 through September 20, 1939.  On the morning of September 1, Germany invaded Poland.  Only one film, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, was screened and then the festival was called off as the French government called a general mobilization of troops.

#7: The legendary Pony Express had a short but glamorized role in the growth of America. Operating for only 19 months in 1860 and 1861, it employed over 120 riders in the long, mad dash delivering mail between St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California.  Question: In those 19 months, how many ponies were employed in the operation?

A) 40 or less

B) 41-100

C) 120-250

D) 260-360

E) More than 400

Answer #7: A. Frankly zero.  The Pony Express used over 400 horses but no ponies.  Horse and ponies are different things.  Sorry about that, but it’s true.

#8: According to Transparency International’s 2015 report, which are the five least corrupt nations in the world? Name them.

Answer #8: Denmark, Finland, Sweden, New Zealand and the Netherlands.

#9: Where are these airports with the text-amusing Airport codes?






Answer #9: A) LOL – Derby Field, Derby, Nevada; B) PBJ – Paama, Vanuatu; C) BFD – Bradford, Pennsylvania; D) OMG – Omega, Namibia; E) BFF – Western Nebraska Regional, Scottsbluff, Nebraska.

# 10:  What Large Italian Mountain range is named after an actual human being?

Answer #10: The Dolomite Mountains in Northeastern Italy are named for the predominate type of rock found there – dolomite, which was named for the 18th Century French geologist, Deodat Gratet de Dolomieu.

#11:  What is or where is, Harmattan?

A) A town on the southeastern tip of Long Island, NY

B) A West African trade wind

C) A special kind of ceremonial hunting knife, traditionally found in Siberia

D) A small squirrel like rodent that lives in Wales and Eastern England

E) An ancient ball game played by Native Americans, particularly the Algonquin and Mohawk tribes

F) A far off and terrifying land mentioned in Game of Thrones

Answer #11: B. The Harmattan is a dry wind that blows from the north and deposited fine grains of sand and dust over The Sahel in West Africa.

#12: Okay sports fans, how many US States have NFL football franchises?

Answer #12:  21 states.  1. Arizona – Cardinals; 2. California- Chargers, 49ers, Raiders, Rams; 3. Colorado – Broncos; 4. Florida – Buccaneers, Dolphins, Jaguars; 5. Georgia – Falcons; 6. Indiana – Colts; 7. Illinois – Bears; 8. Louisiana – Saints; 9. Maryland – Ravens; 10. Massachusetts – Patriots, 11. Michigan – Lions; 12. Minnesota – Vikings; 13. Missouri – Chiefs; 14. New York – Bills, Giants, Jets; 15. North Carolina – Panthers; 16. Ohio – Bengals, Browns; 17. Pennsylvania – Eagles, Steelers; 18. Tennessee – Titans; 19. Texas – Cowboys, Texans; 20. Washington – Seahawks; 21. Wisconsin – Packers.  The Washington Redskins play in Washington DC, which is not a U.S. state.

#13: What is the world’s lowest lying capital city?

A) Jerusalem, Israel

B) Male, Maldives

C) Baku, Azerbaijan

D) Port Vila, Vanuatu

E) Washington DC, USA

F) Tirana, Albania

Answer #13: C. Baku, Azerbaijan is located at 92 feet below sea level making it the lowest lying capital city in the world.   Male, in the low lying Maldives, is at about 4 feet above sea level.

#14:  Who are the actual ancient Kings, represented in a typical deck of playing cards? Name the actual King and his card.

Answer #14: Charlemagne is represented as the King of Hearts; King David is the King of Spades; Julius Caesar is the King of Diamonds and Alexander the Great is the King of Clubs.

#15: One important, well-known region on earth was named for a book. Can you name it?

Answer #15:  The US State of California was named after the novel, Las Serges de Esplandian, (The Adventures of Esplandian) written by Spanish writer Garcia Ordonez de Montalvo.  The book, written about 1510, tells the tale of the mythical island nation of California, populated by beautiful and strong black women with golden weapons who had tamed griffins as pets.  Their mysterious nation was full of gold and any men who visited were subsequently killed and eaten.  Early Spanish explorers were aware of the popular story and named the territory of California as we know it today – for the book.

#16: The lovely town of Beaune in the Burgundy region of France has a non-Gallic name. What is its origin?

A) Egyptian

B) Germanic

C) Persian

D) Russian

E) Hungarian

F) Celtic

Answer #16: F.  Beaune was a Celtic name given to the town in pre-Roman times.

#17: Where is the Denmark Straight?

Answer #17: The Denmark Straight is located between Greenland and Iceland.  Not really close to Denmark at all, although Greenland is owned by the Danes.

#18:  What’s in a name? Place names are very important, particularly for some wine regions around the world. The Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place Names & Origin signed in Napa Valley on July 26, 2005, guarantees proprietary, exclusive use of the names of famous wine regions. Which of these United States well-known wine regions is not a signatory of the Declaration?

A) Sonoma County

B) Walla Walla Valley

C) New York Finger Lakes

D) Long Island

E) Paso Robles

F) Oregon

Answer #18: C. Though it’s been making wine for a very long time, New York’s Finger Lakes region is not a protected regional wine name, as of yet.

#19:  True or False: Kansas City, Missouri ranks second in the world to Rome in its number of public water fountains.

Answer #19: True.  Kansas City has over 200 working public fountains.  In fact, at 322 feet tall, the fountains at Kauffman Stadium – home of the Kansas City Royals – are the largest privately funded fountains in the world.

#20:  I love travel quotes. Who said, “Boy, those French, they have a different word for everything!”

A) Lindsay Lohan

B) Rush Limbaugh

C) Prince Charles

D) Steve Martin

E) Sarah Palin

F) Bernie Sanders

Answer: #20: D. Steve Martin said it in a comedy routine. It was joke.

How did you do?

17-20 correct – Master navigator

14-16 correct – Able-bodied traveler

11-13 correct – Need to get on a plane

10 or less – It’s time to read an atlas